Unique deal inked for Yellowstone River islands

The islands purchased by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are just outside of Reed Point adjacent to Indian Fort fishing access site.

Chris Boyer, Kestrel Aerial

In the business of real estate, Beartooth Group may have redefined a liquid asset.

The Bozeman-based investment company buys ranches, fixes up the buildings, restores waterways, irrigation ditches and upland habitat before selling the properties at a profit. Since they are long-term landowners, the company can be patient awaiting a sale.

“The Beartooth Group has always been about finding creative financial tools to fund conservation solutions,” said Robert Keith, Beartooth Group founder.

That creativity was challenged on a recent property when Keith and his company encountered an unusual situation — a 640-acre ranch located in Sweet Grass County along Otter Creek with questionable access and rundown buildings. Detached from the home parcel were two 50-acre islands in the Yellowstone River, about 30 miles away from the ranch.

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